What is Certification?

Certification is a multi-part process that all students go through to demonstrate they are ready to move to the program’s next level.

First Tee program is not a race! It is intentionally designed for students to have multiple exposures at each level. Many students will not be old enough to advance after just one session…this is normal. A lot of these students will still take part in certification activities. Practicing certification is a great opportunity to experience the process even though their results will not count towards their future progression.

How Certification Works:

Students must meet all of the following criteria before advancing to the next level.

  • Minimum Age – Each student must meet the minimum age requirement. Students have until the end of the first week of a new season to reach this age.
    • PLAYer – Age 7 (Minimum age)
    • Par – Age 9
    • Birdie – Age 11
    • Eagle – Age 13
    • ACE – Age 15
  • Written Assessment – Each student must pass a written test. The written test will focus on information covered in class and in their Yardage Books. This includes: core values, life skills, golf etiquette and golf rules. Tests require a score of 80% or better to be considered passing. Should a child not reach a passing score on the first attempt, a second opportunity will be made available.
  • Yardage Books – Each student should complete as much material in their yardage book as their class covers. Questions should be answered thoroughly and thoughtfully. Yardage books will be checked and then given back for future review/reference.
  • Golf Skills Demonstration – Each student will be required to demonstrate minimum levels of proficiency in regards to their golf abilities (putting, chipping and full swing).\
  • Playing Requirement– Playing golf is an important part of learning the values and skills we teach in our programs. The certification process at each level requires students meet a specific number of rounds played achieving a score from a yardage that is appropriate for the students program level. Level specific requirements are listed in our Yardage Books and are the responsibility of the student to complete outside of their classes.
  • Coach Recommendation – Each student must receive a recommendation from their current level coach before advancing. If a student’s coach does not feel they are “ready” to advance, they will not be allowed to move on. Chapter staff will communicate directly with coaches to determine which students are able to advance.
  • Advancement – Once a participant has met all of the above criteria they will be moved up to the next level. The participant may register for her/his new class at the beginning of the next season.

Eligible students will be notified by First Tee – Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.